The snow crunched under my feet as the quietness of the city enveloped me. Originally from California, I found the sight of snow to be something out of the ordinary and I had not yet quite figured out how to adapt to the profound cold. But all that froze, like the crystals beneath my feet, as if time itself spiraled as the breathtaking sight came into view. It was Tallinn.
I had come to Estonia to Rescue my car from getting scrapped, one month after reaching the finish of the Mongol Rally.
I had heard of the cruise ships that clutter the old town of Tallinn, Estonia during the lukewarm summer months, but I had discovered this stunning city at a time when the city was seemingly all to myself. It was as if the snow had warded off all tourists. Not surprising, considering it snows in Estonia around 8 months of the year. But I hadn’t wanted to arrive during the time when tourists fresh off the boat crowded the tiny, medieval streets. And as I stood and admired the view of the old town from atop the city walls I couldn’t help but feel the breath taken from me. The city was so peaceful, wrapped in the stillness and silence of the fresh snow.
The town’s medieval buildings, still intact after years of war, sat untouched in the middle of the city, still as it had for hundreds of years. The fact that the old town had survived and prevailed as it did was a story as unique as the quaint European churches and view of the Baltic sea before me. The old town had survived simply because the war-torn government had not afforded the ability to tear it down.
I had ended up in Estonia to pick up my pink car, which I had driven from England to Mongolia two months earlier. From Russia, my little car had taken the train to Estonia and in a desperate attempt to rescue my soon-to-be-scrapped vehicle, I made a bold maneuver and came and collected my beloved car. I spent only a few short days in Estonia, Tallinn in particular, but the peacefulness and beauty of the city still lingers with me even now. And so, although I did not get the chance to see the city in the summer months, my winter immersion was fairy-tale like in every way.
My advice? See Tallinn, not in the summer months, but when this snowy city is in its winter wonderfulness!
- Tallinn, Estonia is one of the best preserved Medieval Cities in all of Europe!
- Estonia has an estimated population of only 1.3 million, and is mostly FEMALE!
- Estonia is one of the least religious countries in the world.
- Estonia has over 200 Islands and is 50% Forest!
- Go on a FREE Guided City Walking Tour and discover the history of this city. Our guide was absolutely HILARIOUS and shared so many funny and interesting stories and facts about the city and it's unique history. Remember to tip your guide!
- There is also a hotel that the Russian spies used to occupy that now offers tours. I myself didn't have the time to see it, but it sounded like a fun thing to see! I believe you have to book it in advanced as the hotel still operates as an actual hotel and only allows people into the special rooms during pre-booked tours.
- Another Suggestion is to take a day trip and try a Husky Sled Dog Tour!
- For more ideas check out: Tips on Unique Things to Do in Tallinn